RAIL operators QR National and Asciano today signed new 10-year deals to haul millions of tonnes of coal for Rio Tinto from its Queensland mines.
QR National, Australia's largest rail freight company, said in a statement that its contract leverages its $1.1 billion Goonyella-to-Abbot Point expansion project.
In statements to the Australian Securities Exchange, QR National said it would haul 3 million tonnes per year from Rio Tinto's Blair Athol/Clermont operations, while Asciano will move a combined 8.5mt from the miner's Hail Creek and Kestral mines, all located in Queensland's coal-rich Bowen Basin.
Queensland Rail has moved to reassure customers it is safe to travel on its long-distance trains after a five-year-old boy fell from an open carriage in the state's far north.
The boy was released from hospital on Thursday afternoon after suffering minor injuries when he fell from the Cairns-bound Sunlander train shortly before 7:00pm (AEST) on Wednesday.
IN WHAT state authorities are calling a ''streamlining'' of rail services, trains from Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo will no longer stop at North Melbourne station once a $5 billion railway line through Melbourne's west is completed in 2016.
The authority behind the Regional Rail Link - which is designed to speed up V/Line services from the west by separating them from suburban trains - confirmed that trains from regional centres that now pass through North Melbourne would no longer stop there once works were completed in four years.
About 5:30 pm tonight, loaded El Zorro grainy from Birchip was approaching the Sunraysia Hwy level crossing to the south of Donald when a wagon about halfway through the consist, WGSY 2008C, lost a bogie and ripped up about 300 metres of track including across the crossing, blocking the Sunraysia Hwy.
Locos G521, S302 and the X were at the point. Train split with the next 7 wagons coming off the track, but remaining upright.
Every city has its sacred cows. Try telling a Sydneysider that the harbour is a little underwhelming, or a Brisbanite that the weather is not all it's cracked up to be. You probably won't be invited back.
In Melbourne we have our fair share of icons that are not up for discussion. The MCG (Australia's premier sporting venue); our laneways (unique); our coffee (the best in the world). Stray from the accepted script and you'll find the process of social interaction in this city challenging.
The proposed $500 million expansion of Chadstone shopping centre will create gridlock on the roads and should be rejected by the Baillieu government, unless it can extend rail and tram services there.
So says the Public Transport Users Association, which has called on the government to revive a long-lost stretch of railway track that ran from Alamein to Oakleigh until 1895.
A GEELONG-Torquay train service is being considered by the State Government as it strives to upgrade transport to the region's fastest-growing areas.
Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder revealed this week he was on track to identify a route for the potential service by the middle of next year.
He said three forms of public transport were in the running to link Torquay to the Geelong-Warrnambool train line.
"A proposed alignment for either a heavy rail or light rail line or bus rapid transit are being identified," he said.
"This transit spine should be known by mid-2012, when I expect to receive detailed information from the Department of Transport.
"Unashamedly, since being elected, the Coalition Government has focused on rail as it is the only mode that attracts motorists from their cars in large numbers."
The number of Ghan and Indian Pacific train services will be cut because of falling passenger numbers.
Beginning in April, the Adelaide to Darwin train will make one instead of the usual two journeys per week during the off-peak season.
Reports are coming in of an unconfirmed derailment on the Darwin Line. Flooding is the suspected cause.
We have an unconfirmed report a crew member may have been injured in the incident.
Parts of the Hurstbridge railway line have been badly destabilised by Christmas Day’s ferocious storms, with one train forced to turn back as the track slowly gave way.
That news came as the state-wide clean-up continued in the wake of the lashing that saw hail pound the suburbs as pelting rain delivered floodwaters that in some areas submerged cars and roads.
Two men are trapped in a freight train after it derailed near Katherine, south of Darwin, in localised flooding caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Grant.
Heavy rain from system, which is now a tropical low, has caused isolated flooding in the Northern Territory, cutting sections of the Stuart Highway.
THE destabilisation of parts of the Hurstbridge railway line in Christmas Day's ferocious storms has sparked deep concern about the safety and maintenance program of Melbourne's rail tracks.
Around four kilometres of the track between Hurstbridge and Macleod were left dangerously unstable after hours of rain and hail swept away ballast that supports it.
Metro spokeswoman Leah Waymark said yesterday the operator was alerted to the problem just before 8pm when one train without passengers left Hurstbridge station to be stabled.
PASSENGERS travelling north on the Ghan are stuck in Katherine after a freight train derailed earlier this morning.
Great Southern Rail spokeswoman Jessica Playford confirmed the Ghan, which was travelling with just under 200 guests, was supposed to get into Darwin later tonight.
She says the train is now in the middle of its scheduled break in Katherine, so the guests' timetable hasn't yet been officially disrupted.
The West Australian government says it will continue to work with Oakajee Port and Rail despite the joint venture losing its exclusive rights over the iron ore transport project.
Premier Colin Barnett has been an enthusiastic backer of the project to provide rail lines and a port at Oakajee, just north of Geraldton, to ship out the iron ore reserves of WA's Midwest region.
A cranky driver stopped a train and called police after his plea for Brisbane football fans to stop singing fell on deaf ears, passengers say.
The Queensland Rail driver halted the train about 30 seconds after leaving Robina train station, on the Gold Coast, about 10pm on Monday.
On board were about 400 enthusiastic Brisbane Roar football fans who had just attended the Boxing Day clash with Gold Coast United.
It is too early to tell when the rail line between Katherine and Darwin will reopen after a freight train derailment.
The train, operated by Genesee and Wyoming Australia (GWA), derailed at Edith River on Tuesday because of flooding across the track.
OZ Minerals says the potential loss from a train derailment in the Northern Territory is not considered financially material and it expects to meet its planned shipments in the first quarter of 2012.
The company said late on Wednesday a train travelling to Darwin carrying about 1,500 dry tonnes of copper concentrate from Prominent Hill derailed in bad weather near Edith River in the Northern Territory.
The shipment was valued at about $US7 million ($A6.91 million) to $US8 million ($A7.90 million), OZ Minerals said.
THE creation of a "fat carriage" for people who may be discriminated against by others because of their size was among thousands of suggestions, complaints and compliments received by Queensland Rail in the past year.
People who took up more than one seat, quiet-carriage vigilantes and slow or late trains were among other gripes raised by passengers in the 12 months to November.
In total, almost 10,000 pieces of feedback were received by the passenger train operator, including 7697 complaints, 1227 compliments, 608 inquires and 243 suggestions.
PLANS to boost train services along the Dandenong corridor could have a disastrous impact on road traffic, with some major routes tipped to be almost perpetually blocked by boom gates in peak periods unless more level crossings are removed.
A secret letter to the Baillieu government predicts peak-hour gridlock in some suburbs by 2018 if much-needed boosts to train services go ahead.
While the government has promised to remove 10 of Melbourne's level crossings, the letter says at least another two along the Dandenong corridor will have to go - putting more pressure on the state budget - to deal with the traffic crisis.
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The warning came in a letter to Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder in June by VicRoads chief executive Gary Liddle and Department of Transport director Hector McKenzie.
The letter, obtained by freedom-of-information request, said: ''If more peak-hour trains are added to the Dandenong line, by 2018 or earlier, boom barriers at many crossings are forecast to be closed for 70 per cent to 90 per cent of peak periods … Realistically, some crossings will be effectively closed during peak periods.''
THREE children aged as young as ten, have narrowly missed being hit by the high-speed tilt train in central Queensland.
The children were walking along the tracks on the Boyne River Bridge near Benaraby, south of Gladstone, yesterday when the tilt train approached at 140km/h.
Queensland Rail acting chief executive Martin Ryan said the driver was forced to brake to avoid hitting the children who jumped off the bridge to avoid being struck.
GREENWICH, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 27, 2011-- Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) (NYSE: GWR) today reported that a train operated by its subsidiary Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd (GWA) derailed in the vicinity of the Edith River bridge approximately 40 km north of Katherine, Northern Territory, at approximately 5:45 a.m. local time December 27.